What’s The Best Temperature My A/C Should Be Set?

Everyone seems to have an opinion on how low the indoor temperature should be in the summer when running the air conditioning.

Many people think 72 degrees because that’s standard room temperature, but others believe it should be higher when it’s hotter outside. Recently, while inspecting a rented house, I saw that the tenant had set their air conditioning to 55 degrees!

What temperature should the air conditioning be set at in your home for the summer? What factors should you consider when making this decision?

Why You Might Want To Set The Temperature A Bit Higher Than Your Refrigerator

Thirty-seven degrees is an excellent cold temperature for your refrigerator. When it’s sweltering outside you might be tempted to cool off by climbing into your fridge, but 37 is too cold, especially given what you’re wearing in the summer! Somewhere in the range of 73 to 79 degrees is an excellent indoor temperature in the summer (according to the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers).

On the hottest days outside, you might want to adjust your thermostat toward the higher end of this range. The hotter it is outside, the more money it will cost you to cool your house. Each degree lower is costing you dollars (hard to define exactly how much as electricity rates vary greatly). For this reason, the U.S. Department of Energy recommends setting your thermostat to 78 degrees when you are home in the summer—it’s cold enough and will save you money.

Raise The Temperature When You’re Not Home

The Department of Energy also recommends turning your thermostat up seven to ten degrees when no one is home. They estimate you can save as much as 10 percent on cooling costs. This can happen by raising the temperature whenever you’re away from home for more than two hours. Some people mistakenly believe it’s better to leave the temperature set to where you are most comfortable. This is so that the air conditioning doesn’t have to work so hard when you get home. It is more energy efficient to raise the temperature when you’re not home and then cool it off when you get back.

Upgrade To A Smart Thermostat

Instead of always trying to remember to turn the thermostat down to 76 when you’re home and up to 84 before you leave, a programmable or smart thermostat is an excellent investment. You can easily program it to start cooling the house down 30 minutes before you get home from work. It will have your home a comfortable temperature by the time you arrive. You can also program a temperature change for the night while you’re sleeping. Smart thermostats will let you control the temperature remotely. You can easily do this by using your phone so that you can easily adjust the programming if your schedule changes.

We offer several thermostats that will also learn the amount of time it takes your system to cool down. These smart thermostats are incredibly impressive when combined with intelligent thermostat technology. The thermostats have the capability of geo-fencing. This feature forces your a/c unit to change set points when it senses that you are coming home, crazy I know. If you have a set time that you arrive home each day, the thermostat can learn how long it takes to cool from one set point to another. It can start cooling in time to have your home cool at the exact time you arrive home!


Now, setting your thermostat at the right temperature for your house will work well. That is, as long as your air conditioning is working well. You should be sure your air conditioning can keep your home comfortable. You can be sure this happens by having it routinely serviced by a qualified HVAC technician. Click here to schedule a call with one of our factory-trained comfort specialists.

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